To: My Former Employer ~ I never thanked you for this!

Quick preface: “Workplace Issues” is a work of creative nonfiction based on my true story of being bullied and harassed. It’s told in a series of open letters.

When you initially purchased the firm you were completely unaware that the founder had been teaching me management. In fact you specified that I seemed to need an unusual amount of help with my work. You explained that you wouldn’t necessarily keep me on if I continued to need so much help. ROLF!

Anyway, shortly there after the founder explained that he had taught me management. You and I studied English. He studied Business. For whatever reason he taught us traditional theory without having us read the theory. At any rate, at one point you told me that the original founder of the firm, “told” you “that he had taught” me “to manage myself and told” you “why.”

You told me that it was fine for me to stay at the firm and continue training agents. The theorist on that is Drucker, by the way. There is something that I almost explained to you at the time but didn’t. I didn’t know why I managed myself.

I’ll explain exactly how this happened. As you know the original founder of the firm and I had a mentor-protégée relationship. You probably recall the fact that he very much loved to pick on me.

Early on in my training he made a joke. It was, “Manage yourself for long enough, manage my office for free, train yourself to be the best rental agent in” the city “and someday little Cobra I’ll teach you big important things.”

I didn’t get the joke. When I didn’t get the joke he thought that it was hysterical and put a lot of energy into keeping the joke going.

In fact, about a year after you purchased the firm I explained to him that I had been successful at completing my tasks and that we should probably move on to important things. He laughed and said, “Do it longer.”

About a year later I said, “I have realized that you will never teach me anything but that’s okay I still like you anyway.”

In the following year he realized that the Bully-Perpetrator entity had lied to me during the interview process with the specific intent of manipulating me out of reinforcing my skill set at management. He was extremely distraught.

The he said, “Think hard, why do you manage yourself!?!”

I still didn’t get the joke. Actually, it was during my traumatic stress breakdown that the punch line dawned on me. I swear to God this could have only happened to me!

Anyway, I didn’t know that you were always operating with the assumption that I would start my own firm. I knew that I was operating with the assumption that it was a possibility. But I didn’t know that you knew that.

In retrospect I realize that it’s why you never gave me a formal position as manager. And, while I resented it at the time, you were right.

So, I wanted to say thank you.